I just passed my real estate exam, now what?

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Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Agent, Broker, Manager

How many times has a broker heard these words from a new licensee?  Most brokers have a training program in place for those new agents, but when the agent starts, they come into the office, look around, and say “what do I do?”  They kind of wander aimlessly until someone points them in a direction.

 

As a broker, I can sit with an agent for 1 hour and teach them how to get business.  I'm sure most brokers can.  It’s really not rocket science, but it does involve talking to people.  It seems like many of the new agents that go into the business think that you go into the office and people will come in and ask you to sell them a house or sell their house for them. You really do have to go out and grab the business.

 

There are a rare few that “get it” and are not afraid to talk to people.  Is it really our fault?  When you think about it, we grow up with our parents telling us not to talk to strangers.. so what do you expect?  Don’t be shy and don’t be a “secret agent”.  It’s a numbers game.

 

Here are a few tips for new agents looking to get their business going quickly.

Open House
  1. Hold an open house.  Talk to everyone that walks in the door and see if they meet YOUR requirements to be a client of yours.  Ask qualifying questions such as “Do you live in the area now?” and “How long have you been looking for a home?”  Not all people walking through will be buyers.  Neighbors are my favorite!  They are future sellers that may just be sizing you up.

  1. Canvas a neighborhood with information on a new office listing or sale. Knock on the door and tell them about the property and then ask them questions.  Learn some scripts and make them your own.  I was a follower of Mike Ferry back in the day, and still use his scripts that can be downloaded from his website.  Regardless of what you say, KNOW what you are going to say and practice, practice, practice!

 

The above two items should keep you busy and should get you some good customers to work with.  Good Luck out there!  I know you can do it!

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Ambassador
672,676
Karen Crowson
Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA - Livermore, CA
Livermore Wine Country Homes

John, you're so right about the open houses and the 'neighbors'. I listed a property on Thursday and have now had conversations with two other neighbors who are thinking about selling.  Love those visitors!

Not a fan of door knocking, but I know it works for some.

Apr 12, 2011 12:02 AM #1
Rainmaker
571,564
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(808) 226-1095 or (831) 626-4000
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

John: The real estate business is tough and you have to earn your spurs. That means go out and find business. I can't believe that agents just expect to have business fall in their lap without knowing anything but passing the test. The competition is fierce out there especially in this market. Basically, it's hard work! 

Apr 12, 2011 12:07 AM #2
Rainmaker
996,108
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

John, what I would suggest is to get that new agent out and meeting all the people in her "sphere of relationships"... face-to-face.  I would help her come up with a script (that MUST fit her personality), and perhaps a letter... personally addressed to each person she meets with... "asking" for their help.  People LOVE to help other people... they really do.  Just my suggestion. 

And, speaking of suggestions... I have "suggested" this post.

Also... I see you are a Newbie... so... Welcome to Active Rain.  I have subscribed to your blog, and I invite you to do the same to mine.

Apr 12, 2011 12:09 AM #3
Rainmaker
517,733
Rob D. Shepherd
Coldwell Banker Coast - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

When I started in mid 2003 there was a lot of low hanging fruit, not now. I do well talking to people at the grocery store Sun. afternoon.

Apr 12, 2011 12:18 AM #4
Rainer
8,133
John Barker
Real Estate Agent, Broker, Manager - Sierra Madre, CA
Realtor, Prudential

Thanks for your comments.  I agree with all of you.  I actually just got my fourth listing off an open house I did 2 years ago.  They tell someone, and they tell someone, etc.  It's amazing that I usually get more sellers off open houses than buyers.  Great job with that Karen.  So far all of your comments are right on target!

Apr 12, 2011 12:20 AM #5
Rainmaker
996,108
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

John, thanks for your kind words.  There is just SO much that you can do with a new agent... IF she has a good attitude, and is brimming with excitement... and ready to go out and help people make their dreams come true.  The main thing, besides training that fits their personality... is making sure they keep that new-agent excitement.  Attitude is everything.

By the way... I have lots of Active Rain tutorials that I have written on my blog... so after you subscribe... you'll get lots of great ideas from reading it.

Apr 12, 2011 12:31 AM #6
Rainmaker
142,363
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

I will politely disagree, John. As a Broker, I would NEVER encourage my agents to hold an open house nor door knock. Those techniques seldom worked 10 years ago and unlikely to produce results now. In fact, the one thing it is like to do is diminish the drive a new agent possesses. Ask yourself, would YOU actually open your door to a stranger, interrupting your family time?

I find it an incredible boast that any agent would walk away from a 1-hour conversation and become productive. As an experienced certified real estate instructor, I can testify that a new agent requires a good deal of time investment in order to cultivate them in the mechanics of the profession.

I highly recommend 100 Days to Greatness as a terrific education tool: http://www.buffiniandcompany.com/100-days-to-greatness-training.aspx if you want your agents to be productive quickly.

 

Apr 12, 2011 12:46 AM #7
Rainmaker
83,598
Samantha Davault
DFW Urban Realty - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX

I still do open houses and it seems like every time I do I tell myself that I won't do another one.  Mostly it is to pacify the seller, but really in our area they are usually a waste of time.  Last weekend my partner and I were treated to the retired guy that saw the sign the day before(put them out 2 days before to draw attention) while he was on his 5am walk.  He decided he would come by and torment us for a while.  He blathered on for quite a while, then proceeded to tell us that we were about 30,000 overpriced in his opinion because his neighbor bought his house for $45,000, but it did need a bit of work before it was live-able.

Apr 12, 2011 12:54 AM #8
Rainmaker
996,108
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Mike in #7:  Open houses in Louisiana may be a dead end for you, but sometimes different areas experience great differences in success to many real estate activities, including open houses.  Also... if you go in to hold an open house expecting it to be a disaster... you will probably prove yourself right.

Have YOU ever held an open house in Sierra Madre, California ?  Perhaps John knows something you don't.

As far as the 100 Days to Greatness program, it can work, but you really have to work at it.  I am a Certified Buffini Mentor, and I have seen the results... and also the lack of them.  With that being said, I actually prefer the By Referral Only program of Joe Stumpf.

Training programs MUST be a good fit for the personality of the person being trained.  Buffini is not everyones cup of tea, so to speak.

Apr 12, 2011 01:53 AM #9
Rainmaker
142,363
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Karen Anne #9 - that's exactly why I began my response "I will politely disagree."

Have YOU (or John) ever held an Open House in Houston? I have. They were ineffective despite the best of efforts. My comment to John was based on 11 years of experience in multiple states and markets. I'm not clear what brought on the negative mental attitude comment you interjected.

I've worked with programs from Joe Stumpf, Craig Proctor, Fast Track and even Floyd Wickman and prefer Brian's. It's a down-to-earth and back-to-basics approach offering a variety of methods to suit just about any style or personality. In my opinion, it's the lack of agent's commitment and accountability that spells failure. 

Apr 12, 2011 08:01 AM #10
Rainer
8,133
John Barker
Real Estate Agent, Broker, Manager - Sierra Madre, CA
Realtor, Prudential

Mike,

It's very possible that it doesn't work in your area.  I too have been through Joe Stumpf, Floyd, Mike, and I also teach Brian Buffini.  I was even a follower of Tommy Hopkins back in the 70's.  I don't think there is any one that is the "magic bullet".  They all have great ideas and systems, but my point is... whatever program you choose to follow... you have to get out and DO IT!  Too many agents go to training class after training class, yet never ask for the business.

I personally have had success with open house and door knocking.  Is it the only way?  Of course not!  I too have experience in multiple states and markets.  My point is, they have to go TALK TO PEOPLE!  That is a common thread of every trainer that has had any success.

I have had success with both, even in today's world!  When you see a sign go up next door to you, aren't you curious about how much it is?  Most people are.

 

Apr 12, 2011 11:48 AM #11
Rainmaker
996,108
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

John:  It is interesting that you mentioned Tommy Hopkins from back in the 70's.  He was my first real estate trainer as well, when I got into real estate in 1973.  I remember going to three different three-full-day seminars with him.  One on Listing, on Selling, and on Closing Techniques.  He was professional, but quirkier back then... not so much as the "showman" he is today.  I liked him better, then.

Today I would put both Buffini and Tommy Hopkins in the same category, and Joe Stumpf in a different one.  Right now, I prefer Joe's methods rather than Buffini's... even though I am a Buffini Certified Mentor.  But... bottom line... each of them appeals to a different sort of personality.  I don't think I could say that one is absolutely better than the other... just that they are different.  But that in each case... one might work better for someone than the other would.  I find myself rambling, here, and wondering if I am making any sense.

Apr 13, 2011 10:23 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,108,391
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I love doing open houses, and if one knows the demographics of the complex, and then finds out where others in that demographic hang out, and then advertises to that demographic, open houses can be very successful in getting new business, and even in getting the open house sold!

Apr 19, 2011 03:03 PM #13
Rainmaker
130,971
MeLisa Minter
Carl Thomas and Associates Real Estate - 972-962-2500 - Kaufman, TX
Broker, SFR, Kaufman County Short Sale Specialist

Open Houses can be beneficial.  It can definitely get the new agents some contacts to put in their database, which is how we get relationships started.

As Karen stated, Buffini is great, but he is for certain types of personalities.  I'm looking into to Joe Stumpf since Karen mentioned it. :) I've received a few of his FREE seminars and found them more interesting that Buffini's.

Jun 13, 2011 11:33 PM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous
Greg Perez Just passed the RE Exam in Calif

I used Lumbleau and passed the exam easily. I heard they have good agent training information, however, his material and DVDs were filmed in the 1960s or 70s! Kind of Funny.

I would imagine that having a mentor in this industry is critical. THought?

Jun 15, 2011 11:52 AM #15
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Rainer
8,133

John Barker

Realtor, Prudential
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